Season 7 of “Once Upon a Time” will still be the same show you know and love — just a little bit “different”

Fans of Storybrooke, please rest assured! Once Upon a Time Season 7 will be different, between some major characters leaving, new characters being added to the mix, the new setting, and, um, Rumple’s new accent. But, a lot of what you loved about the first six seasons will still be there, and there’s a lot of new and exciting stuff coming — as the cast and crew of the fantasy drama told reporters at Comic-Con.

Here’s what they had to say about what’s ahead for Once Upon a Time:

Adam Horowitz, Creator/Executive Producer

“It’s the same show, but going in a new direction. It’s still the Once Upon a Time feeling. There are many characters who are returning. There are some who aren’t coming back, but it’s not that we’re erasing what came before. We’re just moving forward.”

That said, he totally gets the concern from fans: “We understand, we get it. It’s hard. You spend six years with characters, you grow attached to them. We do too. The characters are a part of us, we love them, it’s not easy to say goodbye. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the last we’ll see of any of them. Many of them will probably, hopefully return at some point, but we’re keeping the spirit of the show alive.”

Edward Kitsis, Creator/Executive Producer

“It’s the same show that everybody loved. We’re just opening a new chapter. Every year we come [to Comic-Con] and every year at these roundtables, there is something the fans are either upset about or worried about. I would say their biggest worry is we’re going to erase the six years. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to take them on a new adventure. Throughout the first six seasons, there were many characters that came in that they loved. If you liked that, and you like the show, then you’re going to love the next iteration.”

Kitsis added that it’s good to mix things up: “I think that the excitement of finding out new people and new characters and new origin stories will be a lot more fun for the audience than the 20th time that Regina was thinking about not casting the curse.”

David H. Goodman, Executive Producer

“The mixture of the old and the new breathes fresh life into some of the older stories and is also giving some great balance to these new stories. It’s been really fun to write. When it’s really fun to write the mixture of old and new, it feels like it’s going to be fun to watch.”

Lana Parrilla, Regina/Evil Queen

“It feels different,” she said of so much of the original cast being gone. “It feels strange only because change is strange and different and new, but it’s also really exciting and I love it. I love our new cast. We’re still getting to know each other. Dania [Ramirez] and Andrew [J. West] are wonderful. Everyone’s really happy and excited to be here. There’s a new energy and a buzz that you can feel when you’re on set. I really am excited about this season for multiple reasons.”

“For where my character is going, but really where the show is going and the new audience that we’re going to bring in. Since we’re starting a new chapter, you can get new 10-year-olds that start watching, and then will maybe go back and watch seasons one through six. But I think this gives us an opportunity to bring in new people.”

Colin O’Donoghue, Captain Hook/Killian Jones

“It’s been fascinating,” O’Donoghue said of his experience so far on the new season. “It feels almost like we’re doing a whole new show, with characters that we know, but are different. It’s sort of the same, but different. But, I do think that the first episode of this is one of the best that I’ve read of my entire time on the series. And I think the fans should take comfort in the fact that it’s the same writers, creators, some of the same cast — the same people who love working on the show, who want it to be the best it can be. For anyone who’s concerned, they shouldn’t be because everybody’s working as hard, if not even harder, to make it the best that it can be.

Robert Carlyle, Rumple/Mr. Gold

“I think that people in general tend to be quite conservative,” Carlyle said, bouncing off of O’Donoghue. “They don’t like change. Change kind of frightens people. Change can sometimes be good and I think that it’s important for the show to make this change because we couldn’t keep on repeating the same stuff over and over and over again. We’d never last, so this has given us a new lease on life — a breath of fresh air, even. I’m hopeful that the audience out there will embrace it.”

So, dear readers, please rest assured as you anxiously await Once Upon a Time’s return to ABC on October 6th.